Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Having given his opening remarks and the power of God’s salvation, God directed Paul to warn of the danger facing those who reject the true God. Then in chapter 2 God began to narrow His message to the Jews who despised the true God, in favour of their false religion.
Now in chapter 3 God would answer the question that some people had about God’s purpose for the Jews. Was there any advantage to being a Jew? We know that the Jews have been picked on for generations. They are still facing severe challenges both inside Israel and also around the world. Much of the Arab world hates the Jews. We know that Hitler hated the Jews. We know that the Catholics hate the Jews, and yet, foolishly, there are Jews that are Catholic. The Catholics worked with the Muslims to direct Hitler in his actions.
God reminds us here that the Jews were given an advantage among the nations. That advantage was not in their circumcision. Rather it was in the fact that God gave them the “oracles of God”. The oracles of God is another term for “the Word of God.”
God’s law is extremely important for mankind. Adam needed to obey God’s law, but he chose not to. He became a sinner. Cain rejected God’s law and murdered his brother. Enoch walked with God and God took him because he pleased God. The people of Noah’s day rejected God’s law and only eight people survived the worldwide flood .
The Jews were blessed with being taught the Passover as a type of Jesus Christ. They were given the Ten Commandments as well as the Mosaic law. All of that was a picture of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His ministry. All of that was one of God’s steps in fulfilling the promise of Genesis 3:15. The Jews were given the privilege of receiving the law and then living out that law before the Gentile nations.
The nation of Israel was envied by other nations for many years. The nations only focussed on the physical and material side of things. They never understood the spiritual aspect of the blessing of the nation of Israel. Sadly, most of the Jews never grasped the significance and the importance of the spiritual blessing that God gave them. The Jews despised their special place and wanted to be more like the nations around them. They did not realize the benefit of knowing and following the true God. They still do not recognize that value today.
King David understood the importance of this to a degree. King Solomon lost sight of that and from there things did not get better. There were some better kings in the south, but there was a progressive decline in the Spiritual life of the nation.
In verse 3 we see that there were some Jews that did not believe what God told them. We already noted that above. Just because they did not believe the truth, did that cancel out the truth. Just because there were Jews who rejected the true God, did that mean there was no true God? This is an important fact to consider. Man does not determine what is truth. God is truth and He has made the truth known to man. Man will be judged according to God’s truth, not man’s distortions of the truth.
Today we can make application of this question to the Gentile world as well. Just because there are professing Gentile Christians who deny the truthfulness of God and of His Word, does this somehow cancel out God? God has never given anyone license to alter His Word. Those who have altered it are in fact rejecting Him. They are under His judgment. The wise person rejects that corruption and chooses to follow the truth instead.
In verse 4 we see that God has not changed just because those who should know better, choose to reject Him. God declared that He is true. Every person that chooses to reject Him is a liar. Paul was directed to quote from Psalm 51:4 in defence of God.
God is justified in all that He says and does. It is man that has the problem, not God. God is in charge. He will be seen to be righteous in the end. Romans 14:11 declares:
Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
In verse 5 we see that even our unrighteousness commends God. Lost humanity proves that God is righteous. God has set out the truth and when man defies Him he faces the consequences now and into eternity. God warned Adam of the consequences of eating of the forbidden fruit. God had to keep His Word. He could not do anything else because He is righteous. God is completely justified in judging and punishing rebellion against Him. He has given man His Word. Even though many Jews rejected that Word, It was and is still available to those who want to know the truth. The multiplicity of perversions will never replace the truth.
In verse 6 Paul continued to speak in the context of the Jews. If God would not judge the Jews, how could He then judge the world. God is not like our corrupt government. We have a judicial system that gives a pass to the evils of our government, but punishes others who are not even as wicked as the government. Where is the justice in that? The justice is that God will straighten everything out in His time.
God has been judging the Jews for generations. He is also judging the Gentiles. The great white throne judgment is coming. All the ungodly will be there. They will be shocked, but they will have to admit that they were forewarned.
In verse 7 we see that the truth is exalted even when man chooses to defy it. The apostle Paul was being accused of rejecting the truth. He had been guilty of that prior to his repentance and reception of God’s gift of salvation. Paul was led to ask why he was being judged as a sinner by the Judaizers, in spite of the fact that the gospel of Christ that he was preaching and living was effective to saving souls. The Judaizers did not like that gospel. It was hurting their business. They could not produce changed lives that were a benefit to mankind. They could produce changed lives, but for destruction.
In a similar manner, New Evangelicalism can produce changed lives as well. However, the changes are not for God’s glory. The changes are only to appease the flesh and the devil.
Paul was being judged by an apostate system. He was being condemned by that which was under God’s condemnation.
Verse 8 tells us there was a slanderous report being spread which suggested that the more evil a person does, the more good will come from it. This of course is a lie. God never tells anyone to sin so that He will look better. God often warns of the dire consequences of sin.
God demonstrates His blessings in those who know Him and serve Him. He also demonstrates His blessings to those who are lost. He shows them the misery they live in as He shines the Light on their lives and contrasts that with His righteousness. Man hurts himself when he rejects God and His truth. The Jews are not better off today than they were in the days of king David. They are suffering and there is no peace in what they are doing. Mr. Netanyahu insists he will destroy Hamas. He will be long dead and Hamas will still function. The name may change, but the hatred will be there until the Lord Jesus Christ destroys the wicked at the battle of Armageddon. Then after 1,000 years of righteous rule, there will be one final act of rebellion among the ungodly. God will destroy those involved in that with fire and then the great white throne will be set up to judge the wicked and cast them into the lake of fire for all eternity.
That is not a good forecast, but it is an accurate one. The wise choose to know the truth rather than follow the lies that God has already exposed in the opening chapters of Romans.